Monday, September 21, 2009

Halloween has officially arrived at French Vanilla............

I know it's a little early to start thinking about Halloween. Canadians usually wait to get through Thanksgiving (it's earlier here than in the US) before they focus on decorating for Halloween. However I do have several customers who plan on decorating for Halloween this coming week. Although not as popular as Christmas, decorating for Halloween is getting more popular in Canada. As for me, I love the Vintage style ornaments reminiscent of days gone by. My sister got me hooked on these several years ago. Folk Artists like Dee Foust, Bethany Lowe, Wendy Addison and Nicol Sayre are among my favorite. Below are a few examples of the wonderful whimsical Halloween ornaments that have recently arrived in the store. Whatever your tastes, if you've never decorated for Halloween before, choose a few items to start your own family fall decorating traditon.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

More Fall Decorating...Thanksgiving Table Centerpieces

The designated date for Canadian Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October. This year that day falls on October 12th. Thanksgiving for families is simply about spending time decorating the house, preparing all of the Thanksgiving food (and of course the dinner!) as well as enjoying a long weekend before the onset of Winter. To add some interest and color to your table for Thanksgiving, try some of these simple Do It Yourself centerpieces courtesy of "":
-this minimalist centerpiece can be made in minutes. Set a pillar candle into the center of your bowl. Secure it with florist putty or candle wax tabs if necessary. Make two rows of fruit or vegetables around the candle. Small items will work best. Here they have chosen some baby artichokes and some very small lemons, but tangerines, limes, or any other item could also work.
-this simple centerpiece can be arranged in minutes on a platter or tray, and will last several days. Just prior to your dinner, finish the arrangement by garnishing with kale leaves. (for detailed instructions go to
-use fruit to make an impressive centerpiece that's very inexpensive. Tip: Add flowers at the last minute and they'll stay fresh for your party. (for detailed instructions go to

-an arrangement of pears makes a wonderful centerpiece. Choose fruit in bright green, golden yellow, or russet red -- either fresh or artificial -- and pile into a pretty bowl. Carry the fall theme through with some oak leaves (or any other type of fall leaf), acorns, and mini crab apples for a bit more color. (for detailed instructions go to

Hello Bonjour....

Well this is my first attempt at blogging! It's been quite a year and a half for me. I retired from the Federal Government after 34 years and in October 2006, I started a new retail store called "French Vanilla Home and Garden". In July 2007 I launched my store's e-commerce website and now this....blogging! Who would have thought! Has it been challenging?....a bit, stressful?.... some days, rewarding?....most definitely! I love owning my own retail store, filling it with things I love and helping my customers find that perfect item or gift! I am enjoying this new phase of my life and look forward to learning new things, having new adventures and making new friends along the way!

(established July/2008)